Tara McTeigue is the founder & CEO of Mumaco, a mobile application that safely connects families with trusted babysitters in their local area.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I have had a career in global corporate spanning 15 years working with renowned companies such as Diageo, Colliers International & Kleenmaid. I was lucky enough to gain experience in everything from Training & Sales to Trade Marketing and Asset Innovation which has put me in good stead to chase my own goals and dreams.
Today, after a brief hiatus raising kids, I am the founder and CEO of Mumaco. If you don’t know about Mumaco and you have young children, then you should! Mumaco is a mobile app that safely connects parents with trusted, verified babysitters in their local area and we facilitate the entire process from start to finish.
We are in the start-up phase so my role currently consists of wearing every hat in the company structure whilst ensuring we are meeting goals and driving growth.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m a morning person so I’m usually up about 5am which *usually* allows me to fit in a quick home workout before my 2 delightful cherubs bound out of bed with the combined energy of an A-Bomb.
I workout like I live my life – fast and furious – so generally it’s a spin class or HIIT workout on the schedule, although I do acknowledge that a Yoga session would probably do me, and my adrenal glands, the world of good!
At 6am, with little feet running down the stairs, it’s battle stations for the next 2 hours. Breakfast, lunch prep, homework, showers, packing bags, walking the dog. Just a general morning in a house with kids really.
8.15am and we are in the car en route to school for the drive by kiss and offload.
8.45am and it’s work mode Tara is in swing. My days are as varied as Gaga’s outfits, but generally it starts with a quick check in with my business partner and a recap of our goals & priorities to really get the motivation juices flowing and ensure our focus is pointed in the right direction.
Then it’s go time – we strategise, research, brainstorm, network, market, take meetings, hold meetings, provide customer care, manage financials and all the dreaded admin. I told you, every hat!
At 3pm the kids are back in the car and so starts ‘mum’s taxi’ to after school activities and sports. Often, I’ll have my laptop with me to work on the sidelines if I have pressing deadlines.
5.30pm and it’s back home and back to battle stations – cooking dinner, homework help, showers, etc.
6pm and Hubby is home and we all take some time to relax as a family at the dinner table. It is really important for my Husband & I to dedicate this time around the table with the children to ask questions about their day and what’s new in life. It’s our time to reconnect as a family.
At 7.30pm, little heads are down on pillows and we take some much needed time to wind down and catch up (which occasionally means catching up on work!)
I love my sleep and don’t function well for less than 8 hours so after a quick ep of the Crown (I know I’m a bit late to this party!) it lights out at 9pm, ready to do it all over again.
It’s busy for sure. Any working parent can attest to the juggle. But would I change it? Absolutely not! I love the challenge and so long as we have a happy and healthy family unit then why not try to ‘do it all’. I won’t always succeed but by gosh I love giving it a crack!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’m really fortunate that at this stage of our business I can enjoy a level of flexibility that allows me to work around, to a degree, my family’s schedule. It’s really important for me to be present for my children and be able to attend their events. If that means working random hours to fit that in, then I’m all for it.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Anyone that has experienced the deep end of a start-up business will likely attest to the fact that work life balance can be difficult and takes a conscious effort to achieve.
The concept of work life balance differs for everyone, but for me personally, it’s finding and maintaining an equilibrium between the demands of my work and my personal life.
It can be easy to neglect areas of your life, particularly self-care, but I find that if I set myself boundaries and actively dedicate time to family, friends, health & self, I am a happier person both in and out of work, and enjoy a harmonious household (outside of the regular screaming of kids fighting!)
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have always been an avid exerciser, however with the stresses of getting my business off the ground I found that I was neglecting my self care and letting my exercise slip. I had less energy, more brain fog and was generally unhappier.
As entrepreneurs, we have an innate ‘push through’ mentality which is fantastic for getting the job done, but can be detrimental to our health if not managed. During covid, I gave myself a good ol’ reality check and got back on the bike (literally).
Getting back into a regular exercise and self care routine reignited my drive and had a hugely positive impact on my mental health.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love to read! It’s one of my favourite past times. I’ve recently just finished a book called Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey. I was sceptical at first – you know the whole Hollywood A-Lister card – but I could not put this book down!!
It is 290 pages of insights, humour, truths, challenges, stories, wisdom and lessons learned. It forces you to take stock of your own story. An unconventional guide to catching more green lights but also seeing the possibilities in the reds.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Now I’m not very much into tech (ironic I know from someone that has created an app!), but I was recently gifted a pair of Apple AirPods. Hello life changers!! Aside from the very convenient noise cancelling (kids/planes!), they are basically my in-ear personal assistant. From reading me my texts to setting calendar events & reminders – Siri has me covered! She’s my new bestie.
Secondly (*incoming shameful product plug), I could not be without my Mumaco app. We have no go-to support network on call for babysitting, making that ‘work-life-balance’ concept a tad elusive. Having a community of local vetted sitters means we have the option to enjoy kid-free downtime to reconnect as a couple and with friends.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I’d love to hear from anyone that is actually achieving it!
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Everyone has a different perspective or opinion on WLB. At the end of the day, nobody knows you like you. Be mindful to recognise what your personal signs and symptoms of stress and overwhelm are, and when they are starting to creep in. On the flip side, know what triggers your ‘happy hormone’ and do more of it!
Life is busy and it’s important to set realistic goals. Recognise what is important, and what can wait. Let go of “perfect”. Perfection feeds anxiety. Stop comparing yourself to others. Laugh. Connect with friends. Be present; live in the moment more. Get out in nature and find time for yourself amongst the chaos of life – you deserve it!
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